Still more recount news dribbling out of Florida. And, not surprisingly, Al Gore picks up still more votes. This time 120 from undervotes in the largely Republican county of Hillsborough. Gore got 999 and Bush got 879 votes from 5,533 undervoted ballots that hadn’t yet been counted.
And the obligatory Republican whining?
“We carried the county by 11,000 votes, so let Gore have his few votes. Who really cares?” said Margie Kincaid, Hillsborough’s GOP chairwoman. “I think the media spent their money for nothing. It’s all pretty silly and it’s not going to change anything. It’s just going to confuse a lot of people. It’s just an exercise in futility.”
So confusing, so confusing.
LATE CHAD UPDATE: In response to overwhelming pressure from Talking Points readers (okay, okay, actually in response to pressure from the editor of Kausfiles) I need to update this post. A chart which the Tampa Tribune included in its print version but not online shows the breakdown of the vote by chad standard – hanging chad, dimpled chad, two-point hanging, three-point hanging, etc.
The upshot is that it was only with dimpled chad and pinpricks that Gore comes out on top. If you exclude those, Bush picked up ten net. Here’s the actual breakdown:
2 corner 3/4
3 corner 67/61
“punched clearly” 47/42
So the question now becomes, should dimpled chad be counted. Or to put the question more finely: do dimpled chad actually show voter intent or are they just random dents on ballots, as Republicans argued?
Kausfiles (original author of the famed “Sloppy Dem” theory) says this new info casts doubt on the Sloppy Dem theory. He’s currently put it under review.
But Talking Points doesn’t quite understand this. The new data seems only to confirm the Sloppy Dem theory. Here’s why: If dimples really didn’t signify anything, if they were just random dents on ballots, they should be evenly distributed between the candidates — the law of statistical averages being what it is. But in Hillsborough and in every other county they seem always to favor Gore.
How can that mean anything else but that Gore’s voters much more often tried but failed to perforate their ballots for their candidate? The very fact that dimples so consistently favor Gore is prima facie evidence that they are not random dents but rather do show the intent of the voter.
So the new info out of Hillsborough not only strengthens the Sloppy Dem theory, it also strengthens the case for including dimpled chad.